3-minute interview with Celia Malheiros

The Brazilian musician, who is doing her first U.S. solo show at Sanchez Music Hall in Pacifica on Saturday. Malheiros, who lives in Pacifica, has served as the musical director of San Francisco Carnaval Ball for 13 years, performed at the San Francisco Jazz Festival and once opened for Ray Charles at the Monterey Jazz Festival. This is her first Bay Area appearance after two years of touring.

You will be playing at least 15 instruments at Sanchez. How did you learn to play so many? I started when I was 5. I grew up with the sound of samba, so all percussion instruments were easy for me.I picked up cavaquinho — it’s a four-string guitar — and guitar. Then I kept adding things like flute, clarinet, piano and all the strings. I wish I could play all at once. When I play by myself it should be as lively as with an orchestra.

Why is it important for you to combine modern and traditional sounds? I studied a lot of traditional music in Brazil. I never do anything unless I know the roots. I don’t think anyone should modernize things if they don’t know where it comes from. We need to respect and tribute what came before us.

How is Brazilian music received outside Brazil? For some reason, Brazilian jazz really gets people going. They mention the word “sensual.” Brazil is the biggest melting pot and the music is almost like a universal sound.

After two years of touring the world, why play in quiet Pacifica? I really want to do this one so I can show more of my music. I’m going to have my daughter play with me on violin and she only performs if her friends can come.

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